There are many reasons that people turn to drugs, the most prevalent being a reach for some way to numb or quiet emotional pain or emptiness. Sometimes this involves the ‘dampening’ or suppression of past pain or trauma. According to statistics, cocaine is the second most widely used drug in the United States. Cocaine is also notorious for the ‘numbing’ effect of its high. It is known to give those who use it a sense of control and a boost of (perceived) strength or energy. This ‘cocaine numb’ is similar to effects produced by other stimulants; however, cocaine is fairly common and widely available. As well as the inherent danger of cocaine’s side effects, there is considerable danger in taking any drug to mask or suppress emotional pain or to cope with stressful situations or feelings. There are ways, however, for recovering addicts to cope and stay sober.
You Can Learn to Cope and Stay Sober
Whatever has proven to be difficult for the user to overcome, when neglected, will never become better. Those emotions or pains will be there just the same at the end of the high or distraction provided by the drug. The only thing gained may be an addiction to a drug. This is the compounded chaos which is all too common for an addict. It is imperative for an addict, or someone with an addictive personality, to learn to cope and stay sober. A recovering addict can cope without the use of drugs or foreign substances. Yes, this can be very difficult if other substances have already been introduced or leaned upon for emotional relief in the past.
It may be beneficial, if you or someone you know struggles with addiction, to enroll in a 12-step program or another program. It is often helpful to surround yourself with others who are going through similar situations. This can provide a sense of community and even accountability. This kind of network of support may prove to be invaluable.
Another aspect of health associated with the ability to remain sober or clean is confidence and a sense of identity. If there are areas of your life or personality that may be underdeveloped due to past addictions, maybe it is an excellent time to do some self-exploration. For instance, if you or your loved one have not had a hobby or preferred activity, it may help to develop one.
Behavioral Therapy can be Beneficial
Positivity can be extremely powerful. Behavioral therapy refocuses negative thoughts or patterns by replacing them with positive counterparts. This can be done, to some extent, on your own. An example of this would be if you find yourself upset about long work hours, try instead, to think of the blessing of having a job to provide money and an outlet or purpose.
It is also recommended that beliefs and foundational identifiers such as spirituality and family values be followed intensely. This sense of self and purpose can give a person something to hold on to when purpose may have, otherwise, been hard to find. Whether it be a higher-power or parents, siblings, or children, something outside of ourselves can help by bringing the focus and pressure off of the ‘self.’
Don’t Let Yourself Become Overwhelmed
Lastly, life can be overwhelming. This is especially true when the future is looked upon all at once. It is often within the addictive personality to look at the big picture (health, work, children, global issues, etc.) and become overwhelmed. At this point, the ‘big picture’ is replaced with whatever substance is typically abused to cope. It is important not to dwell on the big scary stuff and focus on accomplishing the task at hand or the ‘next right thing.’ If you keep moving forward with that in mind, you can cope and stay sober. Then all of a sudden, the stuff that seems overwhelming may be well on the way to becoming that which has become overcome or accomplished. Life is too short to spend time worrying or struggling, and too long to spend looking at the end.